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Fantasy Football 2012: Top Rookies Who Will Have Huge Impact

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIIAugust 14, 2012

ASHBURN, VA - JULY 26:  Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins throws a pass during training camp at Redskins Park on July 26, 2012 in Ashburn, Virginia.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck will easily be the best rookie QB for fantasy football. They will get it done in different ways, but points are points.

Griffin III is smart, and he showed in his very limited action in the preseason he’s willing to check down in his progressions. This will help limit mistakes, and that will keep him on the field.

He certainly has the arm and accuracy to put up decent passing numbers, but you also have to factor in his ability run the ball. RG3’s speed and athleticism are amazing, and he’s very capable of Michael Vick like rushing performances.

He also has a decent set of weapons, and it seems he may have already established chemistry with Pierre Garcon. Three of his four completions against Buffalo were to Garcon, with one going for a touchdown. I’m not saying you should take RG3 as your main QB, but as a second signal-caller he will have some value.

Luck looked like a veteran in his preseason debut. He threw for 188 yards and two TDs. If he was nervous, you couldn't tell.

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He went through his progressions nicely and he delivered accurate passes with poise, confidence and authority. I don't think he has as many weapons at his disposal as RG3, but if he continues to improve, he could be the type of QB that makes his receivers better.

Here are some of the other rookies at fantasy relevant positions, who I believe will be the cream of the first-year crop:

Running Backs

I was all set to place Trent Richardson in this spot, but the knee injury (per Ohio.com) makes me a little nervous. It doesn’t appear to be something that should threaten his entire season, but I’m wary.

If he’s alright, then he’s the easy selection, but if he isn’t, here are three alternatives that I believe will shine:

David Wilson - NY Giants

Wilson is an absolute game-breaker. He has big-time speed and the ability to take most any play the distance. At 5’10”, 206 pounds he’s a little small, but I believe he can stand up to the NFL grind.

He should get opportunities as Tom Coughlin seems to be very happy with his play in practice, and the Giants’ offense could use a home run-threat out of the backfield.

Doug Martin - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

I believe LeGarrette Blount is going to have a solid season, but I think he and Martin will function as a nice one-two punch. Martin reminds me a lot of Ray Rice.

I know that is high praise, but he’s physically similar, very versatile and the system he ran at Boise State has prepared him for NFL success. If Blount falters in any way, the case for Martin just gets better.

I’d definitely consider taking Martin as my second or third RB.

Vick Ballard - Indianapolis Colts

I don’t view Donald Brown as an ideal feature back and that creates an opening for Ballard. He doesn’t jump off the charts at you with blazing speed but he’s strong and versatile.

He has the production against top competition to back him up as well. He ran for over 1100 yards in 13 games last season for Mississippi State. That’s SEC-competition folks, and that is nothing to sneeze at.

Luck may not realize it, but the Colts may have drafted their franchise QB and feature RB in the same draft. Think about him as your third RB, it could be one of the biggest bargains of  your fantasy draft.

Wide Receivers

I would stay away from Justin Blackmon.

He is extremely talented, but I’m not sold on Blaine Gabbert or Chad Henne’s ability to get him the ball consistently. That said, here is a rookie WR I do recommend:

Alshon Jeffery - Chicago Bears

Devin Hester is slated to start opposite Brandon Marshall for now, but I don’t think that will last long. Jeffery has the makings of a star and Jay Cutler loves big receivers. It’s been proven over the last two seasons that Jay generally gets what he wants in the Windy City.

At some point Jeffery will overtake Hester, and he and Marshall will make up a very big and athletic set of starting receivers. Jeffery will be a force in the red zone, and that means TDs.

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